Turkish authorities block Wikipedia

Turkish authorities block Wikipedia Turkey has blocked all access inside the country to the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, one of the world’s most popular websites. It was not initially clear why the ban had been imposed. The Turkey Blocks group said the site was inaccessible from 08:00 (05:00 GMT) by order of the Turkish authorities. People in the capital Istanbul were unable to access any Wikipedia pages without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). “After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651 [governing the internet], an administrative measure has been taken for this website,” Turkey’s Information and…

EU unity in Brexit talks in Britain's interest – Tusk

EU unity in Brexit talks in Britain's interest – Tusk BRUSSELS The European Union will only be able to conclude talks on Britain’s exit if it stays united, which means the bloc’s unity is in Britain’s interest, the chairman of EU summits Donald Tusk said on Saturday. Speaking to reporters before an EU summit to approve EU guidelines for negotiations with Britain, Tusk repeated the 27 countries remaining in the EU wanted a “close and strong future relationship” with London. “There is absolutely no question about it. But before discussing the future, we have to sort out our past. We…

China deports US 'spy' Sandy Phan-Gillis after conviction

China deports US 'spy' Sandy Phan-Gillis after conviction An American businesswoman convicted of spying by China is back in the US, after a Chinese court ordered her deportation. Sandy Phan-Gillis was sentenced to three and a half years in prison on Tuesday, but will not serve the time. She had already spent more than two years in detention before her trial. Phan-Gillis, who has Chinese origins but was born in Vietnam, was arrested in March 2015 while travelling in China with a business delegation from Texas. Her husband Jeff Gillis said China had accused his wife of visiting the country…

North Korea test-fires ballistic missile in defiance of world pressure

North Korea test-fires ballistic missile in defiance of world pressure By Jack Kim and Ju-min Park| SEOUL SEOUL North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday, the South Korean and U.S. militaries said, defying warnings from the United States and the reclusive state’s main ally, China, which have tried for years to rein in its arms programmes. The test, from an area north of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, appeared to have failed, U.S. and South Korean officials said, in what would be North Korea’s fourth successive unsuccessful missile test since March. The test came as U.S. Secretary of State…

U.S. says time to act on North Korea, China says not up to Beijing alone

U.S. says time to act on North Korea, China says not up to Beijing alone By Michelle Nichols and Lesley Wroughton| UNITED NATIONS UNITED NATIONS U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned on Friday that failure to curb North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs could lead to ‘catastrophic consequences,’ while China and Russia rebuked Washington’s threat of military force. The showdown in a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on North Korea highlighted the diplomatic challenges of resolving tensions over Pyongyang, with the Trump administration aggressively pressing Beijing to rein in its ally, and China and Russia pushing back…

Brazil: Violence erupts in Rio after general strike

Brazil: Violence erupts in Rio after general strike Violence has erupted in Brazil at the end the country’s first general strike in more than 20 years. Buses and cars have been set on fire in Rio de Janeiro’s city centre. Road blocks set up by activists were also ablaze and shops were vandalised. For most of the day the strike had been largely peaceful. Many people stayed at home and shops, schools and banks remained closed across the country. Unions called the strike in protest at proposed pension reforms. President Michel Temer said he regretted the incidents in Rio. But…

Trump executive order aims to allow Arctic drilling

Trump executive order aims to allow Arctic drilling Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at reducing restrictions on oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic in order to “unleash American energy”. The US president said it would create “thousands and thousands” of jobs, despite a downturn in the oil market. It could undo a ban put in place by Barack Obama in order to protect swathes of the ocean from development. But Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the decision was better than being held hostage by “foreign entities”. Getting rid of Mr Obama’s environmental protections was one of…

N Korea 'test-fires ballistic missile'

N Korea 'test-fires ballistic missile' North Korea has test-fired a ballistic missile, the South Korean military has told Yonhap news agency. It was not immediately clear how far the missile had travelled. It was fired from a site in South Pyeongan province north of Pyongyang in the early hours of Saturday morning local time, South Korea’s military chiefs of staff said. They said the type of missile was not yet known. There has been no word from North Korea. A US government source was quoted by Reuters as saying the test had been unsuccessful. The reported launch occurred a matter…

Executed Arkansas man 'convulsed and groaned'

Executed Arkansas man 'convulsed and groaned' Lawyers for a US death row inmate are calling for an inquiry after witnesses said he convulsed and groaned as he was being executed. Kenneth Williams was the fourth inmate put to death by the state of Arkansas in the past eight days after a dozen years without a single execution. His lawyers said that witness descriptions of the lethal injection procedure were “horrifying”. The United Nations on Friday condemned Arkansas’ execution schedule. The state had initially planned to put to death eight men in a span of 11 days, but courts issued reprieves…

German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash German airlines are dropping safety rules brought in after the 2015 Germanwings plane crash which require two people in the cockpit at all times. Andreas Lubitz killed 150 people by crashing the plane – apparently on purpose – after the plane’s captain left to use the toilet. Airlines now say the two-person rule has no safety benefits. Eurowings, which merged with the Germanwings brand, is one of the airlines now dropping the requirement. The German airline association BDL announced the change, which will come into effect by 1 June, on its…